boo boys boob
|Harry Redknapp yesterday blasted the small section of
boo boys among the Spurs crowd who booed the side off the pitch at
half-time in the 3-1 FA Cup quarter final replay win over Fulham on
Wednesday night. And he has a good point.
It is not easy to generalise, as, even among the home season ticket holders, some fans tend to be the ones stereo-typed by When Saturday Comes as TBBM (The Bloke Behind Me). The sort who moan non-stop about their own team and do not seem to either be watching the same game as everyone else or have their pet players they like to slaughter by shouting abuse. Yes, they pay to get in and are entitled to their opinion, but when it is at such odds with the other 90% of the home support it is a bit strange.
You could argue how would the players be affected by the disaffected few ? Well, when they band together at quiet times or have a good set of lungs, then probably, the answer is yes players probably are affected. Two players who divide opinion amongst the Spurs crowd are Jermaine Jenas and Tom Huddlestone. I regularly hear derision for both players, while others can make mistakes and never be criticised by fans. Robbie Keane seems to be a player who is beyond reproach by a lot of Spurs supporters, but how many times does he give the ball away and what is the reaction compared to when Jenas does it ? David Howells used to be the butt of the White Hart Lane crowd's abuse for a long time, but he fulfilled a role similar to that of Wilson Palacios in the current team. I am not saying he is the same player as Palacios, but he got a lot more stick for doing what he did than Wilson does.
Regulars at White Hart Lane will have noticed a change in the attitude of the crowd in certain games and these tend to be the ones where some season ticket holders are not taking up the option on buying their seats for cup games. Additionally, the practice the club have introduced of allowing season ticket seats to be sold on if you are unable to attend leads to the irregular attendee sitting amid an area of relatively Spurs savvy fans. This is only the minority of fans who get the rare opportunity to attend matches at the Lane, but they are far from silent. I have even seen one bloke in his Thirties try to prompt a fight with an elderly Spurs fan, who asked him to stop the abusive tirade aimed at the Spurs players in front of his grand-child.
At the Blackburn Rovers game, one fan, who is not often seen in the seat he was sitting, bellowed encouragement to Benoit Assou-Ekotto by calling him "you f-ing idiot." For this one instance, perhaps BAE's tenuous grasp of English might have benefitted him. On other occasions, when there is a lull in crowd noise, supporters (although I hesitate to use that term, as there is little in the "support" part of the word that is translated to what they do in the ground) berate their un-favourite Tottenham players in such a way that you wonder what would happen if they turned their bile on the opposition.
Cup games and pre-season friendlies tend to be the games in which the occasional fan tends to make a more concerted appearance and fully expect that the money they have paid entitles them to see Spurs sweep aside the opposition without any resistance. Being booed off in a pre-season friendly makes them appear to back up Tim Sherwood's view when he said football supporters know nothing about the game. It is not a view I tend to agree with, as after a period of watching the game, you do pick up quite a lot of knowledge about it (including an appreciation of the laws, which some players and managers struggle with - albeit some fans do too). But those who go regularly know that it doesn't always work like that and that in the TV highlights, it might make Spurs look like world beaters, but in reality there will be passages of play when Spurs don't play well or the other side play just better than we do.
Maybe it is just the increasing desire for instant success. Maybe it is the desire for Tottenham to do well that turns fans against the slightest error in a player's performance. Maybe it is a lack of understanding of the game in general. Who knows.
I only know that when I played at a much lower level and with only a handful of fans, that when the opposition supporters give you stick, you do hear it and you have to be mentally strong enough to say "I'll prove them wrong." Not all players are that strong and when things are going badly, like losing 0-1 at home to Fulham in the Cup, it might affect their game. I guess that those who booed at the end of the first half were jumping for joy when the final whistle came. Why do Spurs fans get labelled fickle do you think ?
Tottenham Hotspur stand more chance of doing well with the crowd behind them, as the second half of that game proved, than with their own fans booing them off the field, when they had been playing OK, but Fulham had been playing better.
Sometimes you just have to accept that Spurs are not by far the greatest team, but they could be helped to be that if the minority try not doing the opposition's fans job for them.
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